Overview: Learning towers can be expensive. Here’s my DIY version.
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I’ve had my eye on a learning tower for quite some time, but have always found them to be way too expensive. However, you can find them on Amazon for about $100, like this one.
But I still wasn’t comfortable spending that much on a learning tower. That’s when I came across a picture of a homemade learning tower. It was so simple and more than half the cost of the original learning tower.
The first thing I did was purchase this stool from Amazon. Once that was put together we set the stool up against our counter. You want the full tower to be the same height as your counter, so we measured from the top of the stool to the counter.
With hubby’s measurements (because I’m horrible at measuring) in hand, I went to our local hardware store to get the rest of the supplies. For our tower we needed 8 foot of a 2×2 and 6 foot of a 1×2. Your measurements will be different depending on the height of your counter. I also picked up some wood glue and screws.
The 2×2 is used for the tall pieces that go from the stool to the top of your counter. You will need four pieces cut to the height of your counter. The 1×2 was used to make the little box at the top to hold her in. Again you will need 4 of these pieces. My hubby had extra 1×2, so he added a second row to make the tower more sturdy. See the picture below for the size of each piece.
Once it was put together, I went back to the hardware store with Sicily is tow. She helped pick out the color of the learning tower. We started the painting process with a few coats of primer and then the actual paint. It turned out cute.
Sicily didn’t like her tower at first. She cried and wanted down each time we put her in it.
Related: Cooking Tools for Kids
Her first activity in the tower was a bread cutting activity. She noticed the bread and knife right away and completely forgot her fear.
Now she knows how to climb up in it all by herself. Sometimes when I can’t find her, I know to look in her tower and there she will be playing with her cooking utensils.
We are still working on getting down by ourselves. She hasn’t quiet figured it out and is still a bit scared climbing down.
When introducing the tower, I would set up an activity before you place the child in the tower to eliminate the risk of being scared. At first, I just set up activities for Sicily to do while I cooked dinner. I also placed a mirror leaning up against the wall. She loves watching herself play, cook, and make faces.
Then she moved to wanting to eat at her tower. Eventually she noticed my cooking and wanted to start joining in. We made our first baked good together last week…Cinnamon Apple Muffins.